Start Early!

This year, I’m hoping to avoid that hectic period of Christmas card making in early December.  It’s not always very enjoyable as it gets super stressful and is not really what I want out of my crafting time.  I’m in a crafting Facebook group where they have a reminder at the beginning of the month to make a few Christmas cards so I thought I’d share the ones I made for this month.  Only two, so not a big dent in the ‘to do’ pile but you’ve got to start somewhere!

As I’m learning watercolour, I’m trying out a line and wash technique.  Usually, this is done by drawing your scene in waterproof ink but (since I can’t draw) I stamped mine with these new Anita Jeram (of ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ illustrative fame) stamps. 

I started by painting the sky and adding a little salt whilst the paint was wet.  This gives lovely texture that looks a little icy.

My colour scheme for the card base was inspired by another lady in the group.  I love seeing other people’s ideas as I would never have thought about using lime green for a Christmas card but by adding that colour to the scarf, it gives a really cohesive look.  I added a little more interest to my card bases by stamping a distressed stripe background stamp in the same ink as the card stock.

The scenes were cut out using a stitched rectangle die and simply glued on the card front.

They’re completely flat cards too so easy to post.

A Winter Cake

Happy 2021! We made it through 2020 and have emerged into a brand-new year.  Have you made any resolutions? My resolution for this year is to be kind to myself.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist and that leads to me being my own very harsh critic – so I’m now working on not being!  The other thing I intend to focus on is to enjoy whatever it is I’m doing, even if I can’t create a masterpiece. 

With that in mind, this week’s post is a Winter Cake.  You may have heard them called Christmas cakes but if they’re not finished until January, it’s a Winter Cake!  It’s true!! With all the food we had to be eaten by less people due to the late Tier change rules, we really didn’t need the cake.  However, we’ve now ploughed our way through the festive goodies and so it was time for the cake to make an appearance. I made the fruit cake way back in October using Nigella Lawson’s Boozy Christmas cake recipe.  I also used a cake belt for the first time.  It was genius! The cake rose evenly whilst baking and a cake with a perfectly level top emerged from the oven.  I hate marzipan so I just went straight in with some fondant icing and covered the cake.  I would normally ice the board too but I hadn’t bought enough fondant.

I went for a snowflake theme since the weather is chilly at the moment and cut out a load of snowflakes in different sizes with my handy cutters.

Using vodka as adhesive, I stuck the snowflakes onto the cake in a random fashion and added a few around the board too.  I mixed up some icing and piped dots in between the flakes and then finished with a blast of edible pearlized spray to give a glittery look. 

All that’s left now is to eat it! Mr L’s birthday is in early January so our healthy eating doesn’t begin until after that – very handy indeed!

Decorations To Remember

This week’s blog post is a little late due to that pesky Covid.  I was going to do a post on a fun decoration I’d made as gifts for a couple of friends but have been unable to deliver them due to being suddenly upgraded (or is that downgraded?!) to Tier 4, which is essentially another lockdown.  Since the recipients don’t have their gifts, I can’t post about them!  So instead, I’m focussing on Christmas tree decorations.  First though, I finally got my wreath made for the front door.

Do you have a colour theme for your tree? Ours is predominantly red and gold but not exclusively!  Wherever we are, if we spot a nice Christmas decoration, we get it to add to the collection.  I love unpacking the decs each year and having the memories of where they were bought.  I’ve got ones made from Fimo by my sister about 30 years ago, a Smurf Santa from when I was a kid and collected those Smurf figures, ones given to me by old neighbours and lots of homemade ones too. Our tree is lightly decorated this year due to the kittens.  There’s nothing breakable on there and nothing below the bottom 18”!  It still looks lovely though.

These ones are purchased decs.  Clockwise from top left: angel from Monaco, moon and star from a French supermarket, pebble cat on a heart from a local lady (Em’s Pebbles) and a metal tree from the Netherlands, accompanied by my gold ring felt ornament.

These are a selection of some handmade decs.  Clockwise from top left: sequinned pudding (on a polystyrene ball), cross-stitched Tigger mini cushion, piper piping felt ornament and a clay heart sent by our wedding venue the first Christmas after our marriage.

My latest felt decoration, again from mmmcrafts, is a Santa.  Mrs Claus is almost done but is alarmingly headless at the moment. I must try to get her finished before Christmas Day! 

mmmcrafts has just released a pattern for some elves so hopefully they’ll make an appearance next year too.

Wherever you are in the world and whomever you’re allowed to celebrate with, here’s hoping it’s a happy and healthy Christmas.